Thursday 16 August 2018

'I'll never get to see my girlfriend at this rate' - Thousands of passengers remain stranded abroad

Stuart Kilmartin says there are 'no guarantees' his flight will leave Helsinki on Sunday
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

An Irish teacher who has been working in South Korea for the last year is now stranded in Finland following a “nightmare” journey home.

Stuart Kilmartin (23), from Co Galway, is one of thousands of passengers affected by Storm Emma’s wrath.

He spent one night stranded in Seoul’s airport after his connecting flight from London to Dublin was cancelled.

The young teacher was then told he had to fly to Helsinki and transfer to Dublin from there.

“After spending the past year teaching in Korea, I was excited to finally travel home, particularly after missing birthdays, Christmas, New Years.

“However, when I awoke in Korea, I discovered that my flight from London to Dublin had been cancelled, and then when I arrived at the airport I was told I would have to wait another day and would have to fly to Helsinki and transfer to Dublin from there. 

“I now find myself stranded in Helsinki until Sunday morning. That was the earliest time I could fly into Dublin, but there’s no guarantee. At this rate I'll never get home to see my girlfriend.”

Dublin Airport suspended all flights to and from the airport on Friday.

Service will resume at the airport today, however Aer Lingus and Ryanair have cancelled around 100 flights for Saturday as weather continues to wreak havoc.

Paul Tanner and his 16-year-old Daughter are currently stranded in Dusseldorf, Germany.

He has been unable to rebook a flight home via Aer Lingus’ website and he says no accommodation was provided.

“We have booked to fly into Kerry Airport on Monday now with Ryanair instead. My car is in Dublin Airport so it’s very inconvenient, but we’ve no other option.

“We were unceremoniously handed an A4 photocopy of a letter from Aer Lingus stating our flight was cancelled so we could rebook but not at this ticket desk, only online. We were told that no accommodation would be organised, no food would be arranged.

“It’s now three days later and I have not heard of thing from Aer Lingus accept a useless email explaining how to rebook our flights. None of the methods detailed in the email function. The website will not let me reschedule, the phone numbers don’t work.

“These things happen but the lack of communication is very frustrating.”

Independent.ie has contacted Aer Lingus for comment.

Has Storm Emma disrupted your travel plans and you wish to share your story? Email digital@independent.ie

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